Voca People perform in Tampa Saturday

The Israeli octet combines a cappella singing with outer space antics

March 20, 2014 

They're like an albino combination of Blue Man Group and Teletubbies. They claim to come from outer space but they really come from Israel.

They're Voca People, and they're one of the most refreshing new acts in show biz.

They'll be at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on Saturday.

The eight-person group dresses all in white, with white faces except for hyper-red lips. Their performances are lighthearted and improvisational, but at the heart of the act are their virtuosic a cappella and beat-box renditions of songs of all genres, from Bruno Mars and Madonna to Queen and Mozart.

The show that introduced them to American audiences a few years ago has them starts with them crash-landing on earth on a spaceship powered by music. (Their stage personae come from a planet called Voca.) They have to learn about the music to refuel their ship so they can take off again.

The premise is silly, but audiences have for the most part been bowled over by the shows. Critics have praised the quality of the vocal and the arrangements, even though some found the extraterrestrial trappings unnecessary.

Details 8 p.m. March 22, Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets: $35-$55 plus service charge. Information: 813-229-7827, www.strazcenter.org.

-- Marty Clear

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